An underrated aspect of any beer is how it feels while you’re drinking it. While the flavor certainly affects this sensation, I’m talking more about fullness and carbonation. Brewers can turn the dials to make a pilsner light and airy, an IPA slick or biting, and a stout with the viscosity of motor oil.
Suffice to say Swedish brewer Dugges took this all into account when brewing its imperial stout Big Idjit. The “bigger, bolder” version of the brewery’s regular imperial stout Idjit, Big Idjit may be the thickest stout I’ve ever had. In fact, it comes close to needing to be chewed, and I absolutely consider this a good thing.
Most stouts look the same, and Big Idjit is no different with its dark, inky black color and tight formation of little brown bubbles at the top. What is certainly not standard is the 11.2 ounce bottle (330 milliliters) from which Big Idjit pours. I’m a sucker for odd shaped bottles, or those with different sizes than the standards in America, and this bottle checks both boxes thanks to its European origin.
It’s easily one of, if not the very most, viscous beer I’ve ever had.”
Big Idjit boasts a big aroma. It fills the room with a boozy punch right off the pour, an intoxicating mix of tobacco, chocolate and alcohol. Big Idjit smells like a cigar dipped in chocolate and whiskey, which sounds pretty great. Underneath that initial layer is some roastiness that further rounds out a voluminous aroma.
Big aroma often equals big flavor, and Dugges doesn’t disappoint in that category. Big Idjit is full of flavor, with bitter char and sweet licorice driving the initial taste. The notes of whiskey, tobacco, and chocolate return, this time complimented by roasted coffee. As I mentioned, Big Idjit is beyond thick, somehow feeling both creamy and sticky on the tongue. It’s easily one of, if not the very most, viscous beer I’ve ever had. Given the full body and 12% ABV, even at under 12 ounces, it’s a sipper that is best when shared.
Dugges’ Big Idjit is a standout stout. The amount of distinct flavors and contrast between them puts most sticky sweet stouts to shame. The weightiness makes the experience all the more memorable. If you catch a glimpse of its delightfully weird bottle in your local beer store, be sure to pick it up. But maybe plan on skipping your next meal.